7 News Belize

Back to search results

More Mayan Secrets at Archaeology Summit
posted (July 5, 2006)

The Institute of Archaeology opened its 4th Archaeology Symposium today at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. This year the gathering of archaeologists and researchers will be taking a closer look at the collapse of the Mayan empire. 29 researchers from Belize, the U.S. and England will be presenting papers on various aspects of the Mayan civilization collapse at various centers in the country. Here's a preview.

Alfonso Noble Reporting,
As they gathered for the 4th annual Archaeological Symposium at the Bliss, most of those in attendance were a far ways off from the ordinary work that they conduct in the far reaches of the one glorious Mayan empire.. Today the digging and excavation that was put in for the past year is presented in black and white for consumption and digestion for the Institute of Archaeology. This yearly event is now required to preserve the work and localize the knowledge from work that is done in Belize.

Dr. Jaime Awe, Director - Institute of Archaeology
"The idea is for them to share the knowledge that they have gathered from doing scientific research in the country of Belize. Many times I also say that people have, we give people the privilege to do research in Belize. Their obligation then is to share that knowledge with the Belizean people."

Mark Espat, Minister of Culture
"This symposium offers the researchers, the archaeologists, an opportunity to share ideas to reveal the work that they have done over the last year at he various sites in Belize, to document it and to ensure that the Belizean public, the tourism stakeholders, and those interested in archaeology have an opportunity to learn from the work that they have done."

And while the symposium brings together research and researchers all under a single roof, Director of the Institute of Archaeology Dr. Jaime Awe says that the event in itself is important but even more so is its meaning.

Dr. Jaime Awe,
"We are now running our own symposium where we bring people from all those countries to come to Belize. And the beauty about ours is that ours totally focuses on the culture that developed here in Belize to make it more relevant to who we are."

This year the focus is on the terminal stage of the Mayan civilization in Belize. Awe says that this age old question which has long puzzled archaeologists may this year come closer to finding an answer.

Dr. Jaime Awe,
"The terminal classic period, which is the main topic for this year's symposium, was the time when Mayan civilization declined. It is the time when a lot of the big cities, Caracol, Cahal Pech, Lamanai, etc. Many of these places were abandoned. Some were eventually re-occupied like Lamanai. But the importance of this symposium is we will find out why is it that Mayan civilization crumbled.

Was it because of overpopulation? Was it because of some of their agricultural practices? Was it because of their political system? and I think that by trying to understand what happened then, may hopefully inform us of what not to do now or in the future."

Hon. Mark Espat,
"To the general public the knowledge and the breakthroughs in research of what happened in the 9th century in Belize to the Mayas, I think is very important. As apart of learning about our past the rise, the decline, the up and downs of the Maya civilization I think provides a very interesting view into where we are in 2006 and where we've come from."

The symposium will run up to the end of this week.

Back to search results

Home | Archives | Downloads/Podcasts | Advertise | Contact Us

7 News Belize